Blackford’s Luke Brown is getting comparison to Rick Mount – and he has a year to go.
Blackford’s Luke Brown is getting comparison to Rick Mount – and he has a year to go.
I’ve yet to have an opportunity to see Blackford High School junior Luke Brown do what he does best on a basketball court.
I’ve heard many good things about him. Basically he’s a human scoring machine.
Hopefully I can work in a trip to see him play in 2020, probably at The Indiana Basketball Hall of Classic at the New Castle Fieldhouse.
I remember when someone on social media said that Lapel’s Mark Barnhizer was the best shooter not named (Rick) Mount.
I recently saw a quote on social media when someone said that Luke Brown might be the best shooter ever.
Wow . . . ! But you know, could it be that he might be?
He’s what you call a gunslinger, quick draw, and obviously quite a deadly shooter from what I hear. I’ve seen a few players who’ve fit that image down through the years.
I’ll start with Kokomo’s Jimmy Rayl and Lebanon’s Rick Mount; New Castle’s Ray Pavy and Steve Alford; Carmel’s Billy and David Shepherd; Bedford North Lawrence’s Damon Bailey, Muncie Central’s Ron Bonham; Plymouth’s Scott Skiles; Marion’s Jay Edwards and David Colescott; North Central’s Eric Gordon; Peru’s Kyle Macy; and South Bend Adams’ Jimmy Webb to name a few. All were excellent shooters and prolific scorers.
All I know about Class 2A Luke Brown is that he can shoot and he can score, a really big-time scorer.
Should he be mentioned in the same breath with some of our other great shooters and scorers?
Sure sounds like it. He’s led the state in scoring the past two seasons at 35.0 and 32.3, points, respectively. He averaged 27.8 points as a freshman.
He also was selected first-team all-state on this year’s IBCA Underclassman Team and was named to the Indiana Junior All-Stars squad.
So just how good is he? Well, this past season he ranked No. 19 nationally in scoring and led the state in assists with 199, with a game-high 14 assists. He averaged assist 8 assists per game, and 6.8 per game over three seasons.
Last season he led the state in free-throw percentage (94.0) and shot 90-plus percent this season.
“Luke is just a good, really a good player,’’ said his coach and 2019 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Hoover. “He wouldn’t be out of place even if playing in Class 3A or Class 4A.
“His greatest attribute is that he’s an unusual shooter; he’s extremely accurate,’’ said Hoover, who worked with at Rick Mount at Mount’s shooting camp for 22 years.
Mount can look at a kid and see what kind of shooter he is, according to Hoover.
Hoover also said that Mount told him that he didn’t want to fool with Luke’s shot . . . “that he was pretty close to where he should be.’’
And who Luke Brown reminds Hoover of is, you guessed it, Rick Mount.
“Yes, the closest player he reminds me of that I can think of is Rick Mount,’’ said Hoover, 85, who has obviously seen a lot of great shooters.
“Luke has a little lower trajectory on his shot than Mount (Luke is 6-2 and Mount 6-4 1/2) . . . but Luke can flat-out shoot the basketball, much like Mount.’’
Luke shot 68 percent this season on 2s (291 made) and 40 percent on 3s. He tied for the state-best in 3-point goals made with 101.
Hoover said that Nancy Rayl, the wife of the late Jimmy Rayl, saw Luke Brown play against Northwestern and told the old coach . . . “he’s another Jimmy Rayl.’’
Wow . . . that’s quite a tribute!
Hoover, who’s 52-20 in his fourth year coaching the Bruins, said that his Bruins likely would have won the regional this past season had it been played and the state tournament not been cancelled, so that would have given him at least 3 more games to play.
So, yeah, he likely would have had a better chance of possibly passing Damon Bailey’s Indiana high school career scoring record (3,134 points).
“But,’’ added Hoover, “Had he been able to play three more games and get his average, well add that to his 839 points he scored this season and he might have had a real good shot at Damon’s record.
“Of course, had Luke not missed nine games as a freshman (Osgood-Schlatter, and then a broken bone in his foot), no doubt in my mind he’d break the record.’’
Brown will head into his 2020-21 senior season needing 1,073 points to tie the BNL great . . . and 1,074 to break the all-time record.
Impossible? Probably a long shot at best.
Only Carmel’s David Shepherd (1,079 points) and New Castle’s Steve Alford (1,078) have scored more than 1,073 points in a season. Those feats came in the 1969-70 and 198-83 seasons, respectively.
Regardless of what transpires next season, Luke Brown should find himself standing tall among some outstanding players regardless of his class status in Indiana high school basketball.

*—Mark Morrow is the Times sports editor and a Hall of Fame Indiana sportswriter.
You can follow him in The Times, and on Twitter at mmediamarko12. He can be reached at mediamarko5@gmail.com or by calling 317 460-8018.